North Valley Food Bank is holding a food drive to collect healthy food for kids this Halloween instead of candy.
The Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat drive runs from Oct. 16-31 and is sponsored by Glacier Bank and Whitefish Credit Union. Organizers hope to make it an annual event.
Food bank Executive Director Jessy Lee said the food bank is concerned about the nutrition of children and adolescents right now with so many children not attending school as they normally would because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“School feeding programs that provide breakfast and lunch are a great insurance program for childhood nutrition,” she said. “However, with so many kids attending school sporadically or learning entirely remotely, we are worried about nutrition levels amongst the northern Flathead Valley’s children and teenagers.”
The food drive is focusing on collecting kid-friendly, yet healthy, food, such as applesauce, cereal, crackers, dried fruit snacks, fruit cups, granola bars, jerky, macaroni and cheese, nuts, oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly, popcorn, soups, trail mix and tuna. The food drive will also collect toothbrushes, toothpaste and children’s vitamins.
Donation bins can be found at Muldown Elementary, Whitefish Middle School, Whitefish High School and the Whitefish Christian Academy in addition to businesses all over Whitefish. Local business will have an orange sign in their window to signal that they are collecting food. Almost all the participating businesses are running enticing discounts or offering free items and services to incentivize donations.
MacKenzie River and Craggy Range restaurants are offering 20% off to diners who bring in a donation. Abruzzo Italian Kitchen and Tupelo Grille will offer a free glass of house wine or a draft PBR for anyone who brings in five donations. Spotted Bear Spirits is offering $2 off on your first cocktail for food donations. The Buffalo Café will provide a free coffee or soda to anyone who brings a donation and The Bulldog Saloon will give away a free soda with the purchase of a meal for five food items donated.
Trovare is offering 10% off any size of their oils and vinegars when you donate either three jars of peanut butter, three cans of tuna or three boxes of granola bars.
Montana Coffee Traders will give any customer who brings in five donations a free, 12 oz. drip coffee. Folklore is offering 50% off your drink if you bring in five food items and Fleur will give you a free pastry (up to a $5 value) for five food items.
The Wave will give you 50 cents off any juice bar purchase for donations brought in, and, Third Street Market is offering a free kombucha drink in exchange for five items donated.
The Whitefish Barbershop is giving $2 off a haircut for every five items brought in for a maximum of $10 off per visit. The Total Indulgence beauty salon is giving $5 off any service for five items brought in.
The Montana Scene is giving 20% off for any donations brought in and The Nest is providing 10% off your purchase for any donations.
Sage & Cedar will give away a free lip balm for two food items. Bookworks will give you $5 off your purchase for five food items. Stumptown Art Studio will give 10% off for five food items donated and Whitefish Pottery will give away a free mini-pot for three items.
Frame of Reference Gallery will provide a discount on purchases for food donations.
Tailwaggers will provide a 10% discount on purchases for five items brought in and Stumptown Snowboards will give free ski or snowboard waxes for food donation items.
North Valley Food Bank also has plenty of volunteer opportunities available. To volunteer, visit northvalleyfoodbank.org.